Emergency Management Division
Is your family ready?
John D. Moede, Emergency Management Coordinator
Emergency Management/Homeland Security Division
The City of Scottsdale (COS), the State of Arizona and the rest of the country are reeling from a very active emergency season with wildfires, hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes. The recent fires in Arizona and Texas remind all of us that unexpected events can easily catapult you, and your family, into confusion and disarray. As a society, we rely heavily upon government response to assist and guide us in the midst of these chaotic times. However, this reliance upon government becomes problematic when the emergency occurs in remote locations or when the number of calls for help exceed the government’s capability. The COS is committed to supporting and improving the health and well being of each of its residents, but this commitment should not suggest a decrease in self- reliance.
The first line of defense for response to any emergency situation is personal preparedness. Personal preparedness begins at home, and includes our families. The level of self- preparedness by COS residents directly impacts the overall mission of the COS when emergencies occur. Residents who take the time to prepare their families will feel more confident in their ability to help their neighbors. Preparedness also includes “training” of family members in skills such as when and how to shut off the gas, power, and water. Children can, and should, be included in this training. For example we teach teenagers how to change a flat tire but we don’t train them in how to use a fire extinguisher.
“Training” family members in how to think in an emergency can go miles toward saving your loved ones, or at least decreasing some of the stress related to these events. Most emergencies at home always seem to occur just after you have arrived at work. It often takes some time to return home due to distance or traffic. In that time period, someone at home could take steps to prevent a small problem from becoming a big problem. A small amount of extra food, water, medication, and pet food can go a long way to keep families away from the panic mentality.
“Training” also involves developing plans and practicing what to do if certain situations occur. For example what to take if the family was told to evacuate in the next 15 minutes or how to evacuate the home if there was a fire. In today’s technological dependency, how does a family communicate if cell phones are unable to be used? What instructions should children and /or family members have in case something goes wrong? Where should they meet their parents or other family members? Where is your nearest pay phone (do they even exist anymore?) and how much does it cost to call someone out of the area?
The City of Scottsdale has placed considerable resources relating to the health and well-being of its residents, however it is unrealistic of residents to assume the City can take care of everyone’s needs in the event of an emergency.
Emergencies can be very frightening experiences and many times are followed by the question, “what do I do now?” Personal and family preparedness can reduce some of that fear and minimize the impact of the event. Preparedness begins at home, and involves a little education and planning, training, and practicing. It does not require a lot of money or time and with a little ingenuity it can be fun. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Is your family ready?
Here are some resources that can help start or improve family preparedness:
Self Defense Against Disasters by Ed Copp (ISMN: 1-449-57850-0) available through Amazon at:
Document Shredding and Drug Collection Event– Saturday, October 8th 2011 from 8:00 a.m.– 11:00 am in the McKellips District parking lot located at 7601 E. McKellips Rd. Donations will be collected to benefit Family Promise a local transitional housing facility. Please contact Officer Jen Wattier at 480-312-0275 for more information. Click here for flier.
Electronic Recycling Day – Saturday, October 8th 2011 from 7:30am – 2 pm at the City Corporation Yard located at 9191 E. San Salvador. For additional information on the items collected, please go to http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/recyclingelectronics or call (480) 312-5600.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’s Railfair 2011 – Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 7301 E. Indian Bend Road. This event is FREE but the train and carousel rides are $2.00 each. Children under three ride free with a paying adult. This free event features model train displays and exhibits, new 10,000 square foot Model Railroad Building displaying O, N, and HO scale trains, tours, moonwalks, and other entertainment. For additional information, please call (480) 312-2312 or visit: www.therailroadpark.com
Shredding Event at Sunflower Market to Benefit “Shop with a Cop” – Saturday October 29th, 2011 from 10:00am– 2:00 pm there will be shredding trucks in the Sunflower Market parking lot to conduct on-site shredding of personal documents. Donations will be accepted to benefit POSA’s Shop with a Cop Event to be held in December. Please contact Officer Kevin Watts at 480-312-2496 for more information.
G.A.I.N. Night 2011: Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods – October 29th, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The location of the event is in your own neighborhoods. G.A.I.N., Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods, is an annual event designed to unite neighbors and communities to help create safer neighborhoods. Formerly known as National Night Out, G.A.I.N. encourages residents to get together in their respective communities to promote safety, neighborhood communication and celebrate the successes of crime prevention through community involvement. Register your G.A.I.N. party at http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/safety/gain today and you could be visited by various City employees, departments and elected officials! For additional information, please contact Joy Racine, firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 312-2342.
Public Safety Community Contact Numbers
and E-mail Links
- Scottsdale Police Non-Emergency 480-312-5000
- Scottsdale Fire Department 480-312-8000
- SPD Drug Enforcement Hotline - Suspected illegal activity, 480-312-TIPS (Hot lines are not monitored)
- SPD Traffic Enforcement Hotline - chronic traffic problems, 480-312-CARS
- Code Enforcement 480-312-2546
- Child Safety Seat Installation 480-312-BABY
- CPR/First Aid Classes 480-312-1817
- Lockbox Program 877-229-5042
For more information on crime prevention or additional opportunities to get involved in YOUR community contact Crime Prevention Officer Kevin Watts at 480-312-2594, email: email@example.com, or District 2 Police Aide Randy Short at 480-312-2074, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Desk of Commander Johnny Cervantes
When disaster strikes, you want to be able to communicate by both receiving and distributing information to others. You may need to call 9-1-1 for assistance, locate friends or family, or let loved ones know that you are okay. During disasters, communications networks could be damaged, lose power, or become congested.
Nearly one month ago, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene struck the East Coast. In the minutes and hours that followed, mobile networks experienced significant network congestion, temporarily making it harder for millions of people to reach loved ones and emergency services. This tip sheet aims to help prepare Americans about how to communicate with each other, and loved ones, in the event of another disaster.
This fact sheet provides two important sets of tips. The first will help you prepare your home and mobile devices for a disaster. The second may help you communicate more effectively during and immediately after a disaster.
Before a Disaster: How to Prepare Your Home and Mobile Device
- Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in your cell phone and in or near your home one.
- Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available for back-up power for your cell phone.
- If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless phone in your home because if it will work even if you lose power.
- Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
- Program "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. a. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
- If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cell phone number.
- If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
- Have a battery-powered radio or television available (with spare batteries).
- Subscribe to text alert services from local or state governments to receive alerts in the event of a disaster. Parents should sign up for their school district emergency alert system.
During and After a Disaster: How to Reach Friends, Loved Ones & Emergency Services
If you have a life-threatening emergency,
Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1.
If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
- For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. a. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay.
- In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross's Safe and Well program (www.redcross.org/safeandwell).
- Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
- If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
- Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in sleep mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
- If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. a. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
- Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts. If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television.
- If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or "tweet" without a hands free device while driving.
- Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. a. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
Check www.ready.gov regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies.
Commander Johnny Cervantes
The FBI's Child ID App Putting
Safety in Your Hands
You're shopping at the mall with your children when one of them suddenly disappears. A quick search of the nearby area is unsuccessful. What do you do?
Now there's a free new tool from the FBI that can help. Our just launched Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it. You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks.
The app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.
We encourage you to share the word about this app with family and friends, especially during upcoming activities in your communities to raise awareness on crime and drug prevention. For its part, the FBI is working to publicize the app with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA)—its long-time partner in the National Child Identification Program, which provides a physical kit to gather your child’s pictures, fingerprints, personal characteristics, and even DNA to keep with you in case of emergency. The AFCA is producing a public service announcement about the app and will spread the word at various football games during the upcoming season.
Article from http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011
Right now, the Child ID app is only available for use
on iPhones and can only be downloaded for free from the App Store on iTunes, but we plan to expand this tool to other types of mobile devices in the near future. And we’ll be adding new features—including the ability to upload other photos stored on your smart phone—in the coming weeks and months.
The FBI's new Child ID app can be downloaded for free from the App Store on iTunes.
Download App | View Gallery
Podcast: About the Child ID App